he had been pardoned by the Queen, and was condemned
for his religious opinions only, deep commiseration was
felt for him. It was not, however, for him that the as-
semblage looked grave, but for themselves. Most of them
were of the Reformed faith, and they argued — and with
reason — that this was only the commencement of a season
of trouble ; and that the next victim might be one of their
own family. With such sentiments, it is not to be won-
dered at that they looked on sternly and suspiciously,
and with the strongest disposition— though it was not
manifested otherwise than by looks— to interrupt the
proceedings. As it grew dark, and faces could no longer
352 THE TOWER OF LONDON.
be discerned, loud murmurings arose, and it was deemed
expedient to double the guard, and to place in custody
some of the most clamorous. By this means all disposi-
tion to tumult was checked, and profound silence ensued.
Meanwhile numbers continued to flock thither, until, long
before the appointed hour arrived, the whole area from
the lieutenant's lodgings to St. Peter's Chapel was
As the bell ceased tolling the hour of midnight, a lugu-
brious procession slowly issued from beneath the gloomy
archway of the Coal-harbor Gate. First came four yeo-
men of the guard walking two and two, and bearing ban-
ners of black silk, displaying large white crosses. Then
twelve deacons in the same order, in robes of black silk
and flat caps, each carrying a long lighted wax taper.
Then a priest's assistant, in a white surplice, with a red
cross in front, bareheaded, and swinging a large bell
heavily to and fro. Then two young priests, likewise
bareheaded, and in white surplices, each holding a lighted
taper in a massive silver candlestick. Then an old priest
with the mitre. Then two chantry-priests in their robes
singing the Miserere. Then four Carmelite monks, each
with a large rosary hanging from his wrist, supporting a
richly-gilt square canopy, decorated at each corner with
a sculptured cross, beneath which walked Bonner, in his
scarlet chimere and white rochet. Then came Fecken-
ham and other prelates, followed by two more chantry-
priests singing the same doleful hymn as their predeces-
sors. Then came a long train of halberdiers. Then the
prisoner, clothed in sackcloth and barefooted, walking be-
tween two friars of the lowly order of St. Francis, who
besought him, in piteous tones, to repent ere it was too
late. And lastly, the rear was brought up by a company
of archers of the Queen's bodyguard.
As soon as the procession had formed in the order it
arrived round the place of execution, the prisoner was
brought forward by the two friars, who for the last time
earnestly exhorted him to recant, and save his soul alive.
*rHE TOWER OF LONDON. 35^
But he pushed them from him,- saying, " Get hence, ye
popish wolves! ye raveners of Christ's faithful flock!
Back to the idolatrous Antichrist of Rome who sent ye
hither. I will have none of your detestable doctrines.
Get hence, I say, and trouble me no more."
When the friars drew back, he would have addressed
the assemblage. But a halberdier, by Bonner's command,
thrust a pike into his mouth and silenced him. A wild
and uncouth figure, with strong but clumsily-formed,
limbs, coarse repulsive features, lighted up by a savage
smile, now stepped forward. It was Wolfytt, the sworn
tormentor. He was attired in a jerkin and hose of tawny
leather. His arms and chest were bare, and covered with
a thick pile of red hair. His ragged locks and beard, of
the same disgusting color, added to his hideous and revolt-
ing appearance. He was armed with a long iron pitch-
fork, and had a large hammer and a pair of pincers stuck
in his girdle. Behind him came Mauger and Nightgall.
A deep and awful silence now prevailed throughout the
concourse. Not a breath was drawn, and every eye was
bent upon the victim. He was seized and stripped by
Mauger and Wolfytt, the latter of whom dragged him to
the stake which the poor zealot reverently kissed as he
reached it, placed the iron girdle round his waist, and
riveted it to the post. In this position, Underhill cried
with a loud voice, " God preserve Queen Jane ! and
speedily restore her to the throne, that she may deliver
this unhappy realm from the popish idolaters who would
utterly subvert it."
Several voices cried "Amen!" and Wolfytt, who
was nailing the girdle at that time, commanded him to
keep silence, and enforced the order by striking him a
severe blow on the temples with the hammer.
" You might have spared me that, friend," observed
Underhill meekly. And he then added, in a lower tone,
" Have mercy upon me, O Lord, for I am weak ! O Lord,
heal me, for all my bones are vexed ! "
While the fagots were heaped around him by Mauger
354 THE TOWER OF LONDON".
fliid iSTightgall, he continued to pray fervently ; and when
all was made ready, he cried, " Dear Father, I beseech
Thee to give once more to this realm the blessing of Thy
Word, with godly peace. Purge and purify me by this
fire in Christ's death and passion through Thy Spirit, that
I may be an acceptable burnt-offering in Thy sight.
Farewell, dear friends. Pray for me, and pray with
As he spoke, Nightgall seized a torch and applied it to
the fagots. His example was imitated by Mauger and
Wolfytt, and the pile was speedily kindled. The dry
wood crackled, and the smoke rose in thick volumes.
The flames then burst forth, and burning fast and fiercely
cast a lurid light upon the countenances of the spectators,
upon the windows of St. Peter's Chapel, and upon the
gray walls of the White Tower. As yet the fire had not
reached the victim ; the wind blowing strongly from the
west carried it aside. But in a few seconds it gained
sufficient ascendency, and his sufferings commenced.
For a short space he endured them without a groan.
But as the flames mounted, notwithstanding all his efforts
the sharpness of the torment overcame him. Placing his
hands behind his neck, he made desperate attemj)ts to
draw himself farther up the stake, out of the reach of
the devouring element. But the iron girdle effectually
restrained him. He then lost all command of himself ;
and his eyes starting from their sockets — his convulsed
features — his erected hair, and writhing frame — pro-
claimed the extremity of his agony. He sought relief by
adding to his own torture. Crossing his hands upon his
breast, and grasping either shoulder, he plunged his
nails deeply into the flesh. It was a horrible sight, and a
shuddering groan burst from the assemblage. Fresh
fagots were added by Nightgall and his companions, who
moved around the pyre like fiends engaged in some im-
pious rite. The flames again arose brightly and fiercely.
By this time the lower limbs were entirely consumed ;
^nd throwing back his head, and uttering a loud and la-
THE TOWER OF LONDON.
mentable yell which was heard all over the fortress, the
wretched victim gave up the ghost. A deep and mourn-
ful silence succeeded this fearful cry. It found an echo
in every breast.
GATEWAY OF THE BLOODY TOWER.
HOW LORD GUILFORD DUDLEY AND LADY JANE WERE AR-
RAIGNED AND ATTAINTED OP HIGH TREASON J AND HOW
THEY WERE PARDONED BY QUEEN MARY.
More than three months had now been passed by Jane
in solitary confinement in the Brick Tower. Long as
was the -interval, it appeared brief to her — her whole
356 THE TOWER OF LONDON.
time being devoted to intense mental application or to
prayer. She lived only in her books ; and addressed her-
self with such ardor to her studies, that her thoughts
were completely abstracted.
Sometimes, indeed, in spite of all her efforts, recollec-
tions of the past would obtrude themselves upon her —
visions of earlier days and of the events and scenes con-
nected with them would rise before her. She thought of
Bradgate and its green retreats — of her beloved preceptor,
Roger Ascham — of the delight with which she had
become acquainted, through him, with the poetry, the
philosophy, the drama of the ancient world. She re-
called their long conversations, in which he had painted
to her the vanities and vexations of the world, and the
incomparable charms of a life of retirement and medita-
tion, and she now felt the truth of his assertions. Had it
been permitted her to pass her quiet and blameless career
in that tranquil place, how happy would she have been !
And yet she did not repine at her lot, but rather rejoiced
at it. " Whatever my own sufferings may be," she mur-
mured, " however severely I may be chastened, I yet feel
I shall not endure in vain, but that others will profit by
my example. If Heaven will vouchsafe me grace and
power, not one action of my life but shall redound to the
honor of the faith I profess."
One thought she ever checked, feeling that the emotions
it excited threatened to shake her constancy. This was
the idea of her husband; and whenever it arose she
soothed the pang it occasioned by earnest prayer. The
reflection that he was now as firm an adherent to the
tenets of the gospel as herself, and that by her own reso-
lution she had wrought this beneficial change in him,
cheered and animated her, and almost reconciled her to
So fully prepared did she now feel for the worst shock
of fate, that the only thing she regretted was that she
was not speedily brought to trial. But she repressed
even this desire as inconsistent with her duty, and un-
THE TOWER OF LONDON. 357
worthy of her high and holy calling. « My part is sub-
mission," she murmured, " and whether my term of life is
long or short, it becomes me to feel and act in like
manner. Whenever I am called upon, I am ready —
certain, if I live devoutly, to attain everlasting happiness,
and rejoin my husband where he will never be taken
In this way she thoroughly reconciled herself to her
situation. And though in her dreams old scenes and
faces would often revisit her, though her husband's
image constantly haunted her — and on waking her pillow
was bedewed with her tears — still, she maintained her
cheerfulness, and by never allowing one moment to pass
unemployed, drove away all distressing thoughts.
Not so her husband. Immured in the Beauchamp
Tower, he bore his confinement with great external forti-
tude ; but his bosom was a prey to vain regrets and am-
bitious hopes. Inheriting, as has before been observed,
the soaring aspirations of his father, but without his
genius or daring, his mind was continually dwelling upon
the glittering bauble he had lost, and upon the means of
regaining it. Far from being warned by the Duke's fate
— far from considering the fearful jeopardy in which he
himself stood — he was ever looking forward to the possi-
bility of escape, and to the chance of reinstating himself
in his lost position.
Sincerely attached to Jane, he desired to be restored to
her rather from the feeling which had led him to seek her
hand — namely, a desire to use her as a means of aggran-
dizement — than from any deep regret at the loss of her
society. Not that misfortune had lessened his attachment,
but that his ruling passion was ambition, which no re-
verse could quench, no change subdue. " He who has
once nearly grasped a sceptre can never lose all thoughts
of it," he exclaimed to himself. "I may perish — but
while I live I shall indulge the hope of being King of
England. And if I should ever obtain my liberty, I will
never rest till I have won back the crown. Jane's name
358 THE TOWER OF LONDON.
shall be my watchword — the Protestant cause my battle-
cry ; and if the victory is mine, she shall share my throne,
but not, as heretofore, occupy it alone. Had I been King,
this would never have happened. But my father's am-
bition ruined all. He aimed at the throne himself, and
used me as his stepping-stone. Well, he has paid the
penalty of his rashness, and I may perchance share his
fate. Yet what if I do ? Better die on the scaffold than
linger out a long inglorious life. Oh that I could make
one effort more ! If I failed I would lay my head upon
the block without a murmur."
The long delay that occurred before his trial encouraged
his hopes, and a secret communication made to him by
the Duke of Suffolk, who had leave to visit him, that a
plot was in agitation to restore Jane to the throne, so
raised his expectations, that he began to feel little appre-
hension for the future, confident that ere long the oppor-
tunity he sighed for would present itself.
Ever since Jane's conference with Gardiner, Dudley had
resisted all overtures from the Romish priesthood to win
him over to their religion, and if his own feelings had not
prompted him to this course, policy would have now
dictated it. Slight as was the information he was able to
obtain, he yet gathered that Mary's determination to re-
store the Catholic religion was making her many enemies,
and giving new spirits to her opponents. And when he
found, from the communication of De Noailles, that a
plot, having for its basis the preservation of the Reformed
religion, now menaced by the proposed alliance with
Spain, was being formed, he became confirmed in his
It was not deemed prudent by the conspirators to at-
tempt any communication with Jane. They doubted
much whether she could be prevailed upon to join them
— whether she might not even consider it her duty to
reveal it ; and they thought there would be ample time to
make it known to her when the season for outbreak ar-
rived. Jane's partisans consisted only of her father, her
THE TOWER OF LONDON. 359
uncle, and ostensibly De Noailles, who craftily held out
hopes to Suffolk and his brother to secure their zealous
co-operation. In reality, the wily Frenchman favored
Courtenay and Elizabeth. But he scarcely cared which
side obtained the mastery, provided he thwarted his ad-
versary, Simon Renard.
During the early part of her imprisonment, Jane's
solitude was disturbed by Feckenhara, who, not content
with his own discomfiture and that of his superiors,
Gardiner and Bonner, returned again and again to the
charge, but with no better success than before. Worsted
in every encounter, he became at length convinced of the
futility of the attempt, and abandoned it in despair. At
first, Jane regarded his visits as a species of persecution,
and a waste of the few precious hours allowed her, which
might be far more profitably employed than in contro-
versy. But when they ceased altogether, she almost re-
gretted their discontinuance, as the discussions had led
her to examine her own creed more closely than she other-
wise might have done ; and the success she invariably
met with, inspired her with new ardor and zeal.
Thus time glided on. Her spirits were always equable,
her looks serene ; and her health, so far from bemg affected
by her captivity, appeared improved. One change re-
quires to be noticed. It was remarked by her jailer that,
when first brought to the Brick Tower, she looked
younger than her age, which was scarcely seventeen ;
but that ere a month had elapsed, she seemed like a
matured woman. A striking alteration had, indeed,
taken place in her appearance. Her countenance was
grave, but so benignant, that its gravity had no displeas-
ing effect. Her complexion was pale but clear — so clear
that the course of every azure vein could be traced through
the wax-like skin. But that which imparted the almost
angelic character to her features was their expression of
perfect purity, unalloyed by any taint of earth. What
with her devotional observances, and her intellectual em-
ployments, the mind had completely asserted its domin-
360 THE TOWER OF LONDON.
ion over the body ; and her seraphic looks and beauty
almost realized the Catholic notion of a saint.
She had so won upon her jailer by her extraordinary
piety, and by her gentleness and resignation, that he could
scarcely offer her sufficient attention. He procured her
such books as she desired — her sole request ; and never ap-
proached her but with the profoundest reverence. From
him she learned the fate of Edward Underhill, and during
the dreadful sufferings of the miserable enthusiast, when
- the flames that were consuming him lighted up her prison-
chamber, and his last wild shriek rang in her ears, her
lips were employed in pouring forth the most earnest sup-
plications for his release.
It was a terrible moment to Jane ; and the wretched
sufferer at the stake scarcely endured more anguish.
Like many others, she saw in his fate a prelude of the
etorm that was to follow ; and passed the whole of the
night in prayer that the danger might be averted. She
prayed also, earnestly and sincerely, that a like death
might be hers, if it would prove beneficial to her faith,
and prevent further persecution.
One day, shortly after this event, the jailer made his
appearance at an unwonted hour, and throwing himself
at her feet, informed her that after a severe struggle with
himself, he was determined to liberate her ; and that he
would not only throw open her prison-door that night,
but would find means to set her free from the Tower.
When he concluded, Jane, who had listened to his pro-
posal with extreme surprise, at once, though with the
utmost thankfulness, declined it. " You would break
your trust, and I mine^^'' she observed, " were I to accept
your offer. But it would be useless. Whether should I
fly — what should 1 do were I at large? No, friend, I
cannot for a moment indulge the thought. If that door
should be opened to me, I would proceed to the Queen's
presence, and beseech her Highness to bring me to speedy
trial. That is all the favor I deserve, or desire."
♦' Well, madam," replied the jailer in accents of deep
THE TOWER OF LONDON. 361
disappointment, " since I may not have my wish and set
you free, I will at once resign my post."
" Nay, do not so, I beseech you, good friend," returned
Jane ; " that were to do me an unkindness, which I am
sure you would willingly avoid, by exposing me to the
harsh treatment of some one less friendly disposed towards
me than yourself, from whom I have always experienced
compassion and attention."
" Foul befall me if I did not show you such, sweet lady 1 "
cried the jailer
" Your nature is kindly, sir," pursued Jane ; " and as I
must needs continue a captive, so I pray you show your
regard by continuing my jailer. It gladdens me to think
I have a friend so near."
" As you will, madam," rejoined the man sorrowfully.
" Yet I beseech you, pause ere you reject my offero An
opportunity of escape now presents itself, which may
never occur again. If you will consent to fly, I will at-
tend you, and act as your faithful follower."
" Think me not insensible to your devotion, good friend,
if I once more decline it," returned Jane, in a tone that
showed that her resolution was taken. " I cannot fly — I
have ties that bind me more securely than those strong
walls and grated windows. Were the Queen to give me
the range of the fortress — nay, of the city without it I
should consider myself equally her captive. No, worthy
friend, we must remain as we are."
Seeing remonstrance was in vain, the man, ashamed of
the emotion he could neither control nor conceal, silently
withdrew. The subject was never renewed, and though
he acted with every consideration towards his illustrious
captive, he did not relax in any of his duties.
Full three months having elapsed since Jane's confine-
ment commenced, on the first of November her jailer
informed her that her trial would take place in Guildhall
on the day but one following. To his inquiry whether
she desired to make any preparations, she answered in
362 THE TOWER OF LONDON.
The offence I have committed," she said, " is known
to all. I shall not seek to palliate it. Justice will take
its course. Will my husband be tried with me ? "
« Undoubtedly, madam," replied the jailer.
" May I be permitted to confer with him beforehand ? "
" I grieve to say, madam, that the Queen's orders are
to the contrary," returned the jailer. " You will not
meet him till you are placed at the bar before your
" Since it may not be, I must resign myself contentedly
to her Majesty's decrees. Leave me, sir. Thoughts press
upon me so painfully that I would fain be alone."
" The Queen's confessor is without, madam. He bade
me say he would speak with you."
" He uses strange ceremony, methinks," replied Jane.
« lie would formerly enter my prison without saying. By
your leave ; but since he allows me a choice in the matter,
I shall not hesitate to decline his visit. If I may not
confer with my husband, there is none other whom I
desire to see."
" But he is the bearer of a message from her Majesty,"
urged the jailer.
" If he is resolved to see me, I cannot prevent it," replied
Jane. " But if I have the power to hinder his coming, he
shall not do so."
« I will communicate your wish to him, madam," re-
plied the jailer, retiring.
Accordingly, he told Feckenham that his charge was
in no mood to listen to him, and the confessor departed.
The third of November, the day appointed for Jane's
trial, as well as for that of her husband, and of Cranmer,
Archbishop of Canterbury, was characterized by unusual
gloom, even for the season. A dense fog arose from the
river, and spread itself over the ramparts, the summits of
which could scarcely be discerned by those beneath them.
The sentinels pacing to and fro looked like phantoms, and
the whole fortress was speedily enveloped in a tawny-
THE TOWER OF LONDON. 363
colored vapor. Jane had arrayed herself betimes, and
sat in expectation of the summons with a book before her,
but it became so dark that she was compelled to lay it
aside. The tramp of armed men in front of the building
in which she was lodged, and other sounds that reached
her, convinced her that some of the prisoners were being
led forth ; but she had to wait long before her own turn
came. She thought more — much more — of beholding
her husband than of the result of the trial, and her heart
throbbed as any chance footstep reached her ear, from
the idea that it might be his.
An hour after this the door of her chamber was un-
barred, and two oflBcers of the guard in corslets and steel
caps appeared and commanded her to follow them. With-
out a moment's hesitation she arose, and was about to pass
through the door when the jailer prostrated himself be-
fore her, and pressing the hand she kindly extended to
him to his lips, expressed in faltering tones a hope that
she might not be brought back to his custody, Jane
shook her head, smiled faintly, and passed on.
Issuing from the structure, she found a large band of
halberdiers drawn out to escort her. One stern figure
arrested her attention, and recalled the mysterious terrors
she had formerly experienced. This was Nightgall, who
by Renard's influence had been raised to the post of gen-
tleman-jailer. He carried the fatal axe — its handle sup-
ported by a leathern pouch passed over his shoulders.
The edge was turned from her, as was the custom on pro-
ceeding to trial. A shudder passed over her frame as her
eye fell on the implement of death, connected as it was
with her former alarms ; but she gave no further sign of
trepidation, and took the place assigned her by the
officers. The train was then put in motion, and proceeded
at a slow pace past the White Tower, down the descent
leading to the Bloody Tower. Nightgall marched a few
paces before her, and Jane, though she strove to reason
herself out of her fears, could not repress a certain mis-
giving at his propinquity.
864 THE TOWER OF LONDON.
The gateway of the Bloody Tower, through which the
advanced guard was now passing, is perliaps one of tlie
most strilving remnants of ancient architecture to be met
with in the fortress. Its darlt and gloomy archway,
bristling with the iron teeth of the portcullis, and resem-
bling some huge ravenous monster, with jaws wide-
opened to devour its prey, well accords with its ill-omened
name, derived, as before stated, from the structure above
it being the supposed scene of the murder of the youth-
Erected in the reign of Edward the Third, this gate*
way is upwards of thirty feet in length, and fifteen in
width. It has a vaulted roof supported by groined
arches, and embellished with moulded tracery of great
beauty. At the period of this chronicle it was defended
at either extremity by a massive oak portal, strengthened